The James Randi 1 Million Dollar Challenge Finally Terminated

The James Randi Million Dollar Challenge for proof of psychic phenomena has been terminated. The JREF page indicates that it is no longer accepting applications from the general public (celebrity psychics still welcome with TV crew). The foundation is going to be converted into a grant-making fund, however a review of the protocols will be done next year when the application process may be reinstated. Even if the James Randi Prize is permanently terminated,  I don’t need to be psychic to know that pseudo-skeptics will continue to use it as a club to beat up believers for the foreseeable future.

From their site:

Over the years, we have spent a great deal of time dealing with claims ranging from yet another dowsing claim to some VERY eccentric and untestable claims. The overwhelming majority refused to fill out the application or even state a claim that can be tested. Some of them show up in person and demand to be tested while they wait. We can no longer justify the resources to interact with these people.

Effective immediately, JREF will no longer accept applications directly from people claiming to have a paranormal power. Previously available Application Forms shall not be used and will be rejected without any review of the contents. We anticipate providing minimum required protocols for the preliminary test early next year. No one should make any effort to pursue the Challenge until those minimum required protocols are issued. The only exception is that any established psychic may contact JREF via email to be tested directly (preferably with an independent, third party TV crew.)

I’ve heard it a million times on youtube videos, skeptical forums, TV shows, magazine articles..

“If [psychics, mediums, telepathy, ghosts, etc] are real, then why hasn’t anyone won the James Randi 1 million dollar prize?

James Randi, or The Amazing Randi (as he is known professionally) was a magician before he became a closed-minded zealous skeptic and avowed debunker of all things paranormal. He began his challenge in 1964 with a $1,000 dollar prize to anyone who could demonstrate proof of paranormal abilities.  By 1996, the James Randi Educational Foundation accepted a donation that raised the prize amount to 1 million dollars.  The JREF has stated that over 1,000 people have been tested since 1964. To date, no one has been awarded the money – a fact used by skeptics everywhere to debunk all evidence of the paranormal or psychic phenomena. As you’ll see, however, the Randi prize was never intended to be a fair, scientific measure of paranormal claims.  James Randi designed the ‘challenge’ to ensure victory in any circumstance through a variety of ways that we will explore in this post.

Honestly, I don’t know who decided that James Randi of all people should be judging claims of the paranormal; that’s like expecting a fair trial in North Korea.  He was quoted as saying “Concerning the challenge, I always have an ‘out’: I’m right!”

To be fair, James Randi is correct in his assumption that there are liars, frauds and charlatans out there claiming to be psychic and I share his rage that they are preying on vulnerable and grieving people.  No one gets more angry than I do when I spot these fraudsters making millions exploiting grieving people with fishing techniques, cold and hot reading, and even bullying tactics. They are ruining the reputation of the truly gifted, honest mediums who don’t crave fame and attention.  James Randi makes the assumption, however, that because there are some fraudulent psychics and mediums, that all psychics and mediums are frauds.

There have been many people who have looked closely at this challenge and written excellent articles and critiques on it.  I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so please read Michael Prescott’s excellent, in-depth supported article on his own investigation of the JREF challenge.  Also, read this one from the weilerpsiblog  which has both facts and real examples which show why the JREF challenge is a scam and a trap.   Here’s one more by Daily Grail called “The Myth of the One Million Dollar Challenge” which sums it up pretty nicely as well.

No self-respecting medium or psychic would ever submit themselves to such an egregiously slanted, fraudulent and corrupted display of mockery such as the JREF challenge, and yet skeptics continue to use this straw man argument as a way to flag-wave their own prejudices. 

Just in case you aren’t familiar with what the JREF 1 Million Dollar Challenge is really about, here’s a little summary:

The JREF 1 Million Dollar Challenge was offered to anyone who could prove via testing protocols set up in advance by the JREF claims of the paranormal.  Anyone who bothered to look closely at the rules by which the contestants were bound could see right away that they were designed to ensure that no one ever won the prize.

First, the James Randi Educational Foundation and the challenge committee themselves are the kind of biased, hard-nosed skeptics that have already made up their mind that evidence of the paranormal doesn’t exist and that’s hardly a good starting point when claiming that such a test is fair to begin with.  But beyond that, there’s a lot of other reasons why the JREF should have never been touted as “THE TEST” for psychic phenomena in the first place, based on the way the test is set up/designed for failure.

The JREF is not a scientific organization, and they never intended to do real scientific tests.   The JREF test doesn’t allow repeated trails that can’t be accomplished in the 8 hour time limit.  In addition, the JREF can arbitrarily reduce the number of repetitions allowed without any explanation.  Repetition is a cornerstone of the scientific method, especially to determine the statistical results against chance.  Consider the number of trials any pharmaceutical drug must undergo before the results can determine efficacy.  Forcing a person to demonstrate an effect, especially a psychic effect, without allowing repeated trials is simply as unscientific as it gets.

Secondly, the application process is also designed to eliminate actual competition or make it impossible for people with real abilities to demonstrate them properly.  The foundation ignores or rejects most serious applicants, and yet allows the testing of the frauds and quacks for the sole purpose of public mockery.

Applicants also have to sign away their rights to an attorney, and allow James Randi to use the data any way he wishes (this means he can outright change the results or lie about them) and the applicant has no recourse to prove the deception either in a court of law or the court of public opinion.

JREF controls everything – the protocols (which may be changed at any time, even during the test itself), the location, the test design, witnesses, participants, and finally even the results.  There are no independent controls to ensure honesty and fair play on the part of the JREF.

The sole purpose of the JREF Million Dollar Challenge was always to mock and humiliate applicants.  There was never any intention to test applicants fairly, and anyone with half a chance to actually win was simply ignored or refused on a technicality.  The JREF designed an unscientific, closed contest with constantly changing rules, no oversight and absolutely no legal contracts or obligations except to give the JREF all of the power and rights. Do you think James Randi EVER intended to lose that million?  Not a chance!

Evidence of the paranormal does exist, despite James Randi and his bogus foundation.  PSI has been proven and published in real peer-reviewed journals.  See these posts on the Global Consciousness ProjectDr. Sheldrake’s Telepathy Experiments and Dr. Julie Beischel’s triple-blind test proving mediumship is accurate.

All of the above are real, scientific studies done using the scientific method and published in real scientific journals, and yet none would have been accepted by the James Randi Educational Foundation based on their protocols for “testing”.

The only thing James Randi has ever accomplished with this so-called ‘challenge’ was to draw attention away from real scientific research.

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189 thoughts on “The James Randi 1 Million Dollar Challenge Finally Terminated

  1. In the film that was made about him, the main case was that of a TV diretor who was a skeptic. Throughout a TV interview that was made with Chico Xavier, he constantly criticised and ridiculed anything that was said. At the end of the program, Chico was asked if he might do a psychography live. He did. The letter was addressed to the diretor. In it, there was a message from the director’s deceased father, telling him of how proud he was of him, and making references to what the diretor had said to his father while his father was in a coma before his death, which should have been impossible. Like this one, there are countless cases. Will you consider this as “proof”? No, of course not.

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  2. Brian, the discussion has never gone off topic. There IS no possible “proof” as yet. And there won’t be, not for many, many years yet. Can’t be done. And any evidence put forward will always be under the opening of a counter argument. We can argument the points, yes. I can expose what I have experienced and come to learn from such experiences, yes. But that still won’t be proof.

    Have you ever heard of a Brazilian medium called Chico Xavier? He forwarded countless cases of verifiable facts via psychography or “automatic writing”. But still, despite the so many cases and so much evidence, it still cannot be considered as “proof”. Just cannot be done as yet.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_Xavier

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  3. Why is it I cannot find a “reply” button to your posts, Brian?

    If you are referring to “God” as the “Goblin King”, well then yes, I do believe in a Universal Consciousness from which all things derive. We, as the individual consciousnesses that we are, are individualizations of this Greater Consciousness. It is this sense that we were “created in His image and resemblance”. Can you access it? No. Just as you cannot access mine or I yours unless we manifest in some way, by the energy of speaking or wrtiting. You are not going to find the “proofs” you seem to feel entitled to in any other way. Absence of, of course, never meaning or having meant its inexistence. As you know.

    Robbie, I thank you, but you needn’t worry about me. I am more than used to this sort of offence and atitude.

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    1. [Why is it I cannot find a “reply” button to your posts, Brian?]

      Because the WordPress plugin chosen for the comment system on this site is shit, basically. It only allows comments to be 3 layers deep, which means that if you to reply in thread (like Robbie and myself have been doing up above), you’ll need to find the *second* level of comment, hit the reply button there (which puts the comment box *way* up the top of the thread), and then your reply will follow on the tail of mine.

      [If you are referring to “God” as the “Goblin King”, well then yes, I do believe in a Universal Consciousness from which all things derive. We, as the individual consciousnesses that we are, are individualizations of this Greater Consciousness. It is this sense that we were “created in His image and resemblance”. Can you access it? No. Just as you cannot access mine or I yours unless we manifest in some way, by the energy of speaking or wrtiting. You are not going to find the “proofs” you seem to feel entitled to in any other way. Absence of, of course, never meaning or having meant its inexistence. As you know.]

      I appreciate that you feel that you have said something meaningful here, but this is just full of buzzwords, with no actual meaning behind them.

      Look, pretending that you have access to some deeper level of the universe is fun, and I get that it allows one to feel superior to others insofar as you can just say “nope, you just can’t understand! This is *my* special truth”, but the point I was making (which apparently flew right past you) is that if *my* special truth is that *your* special truth is bullshit, then at least one of us is wrong. If we both insist that our claims are untestable, then we’re both, frankly, talking bollocks.

      So carry on with the fraud, and I hope the emotional fallout to the people around you is minimal. I’m not going to waste any more time on this particular discussion with you.

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      1. You can say all you wish about me, Brian. As I said to you, it has absolutely no effect upon me, and as I have also said, I am more than used to the such. Please read what I have shared at the bottom of the thread concerning the Brazilian medium Chico Xavier. We are keeping on topic, w/o the need of any offensive BS.

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      2. And I base my conclusions on my own personal experience, my friend. Please reflect upon them a little further rather than doing what all you skeptics do, which is to discard them promptly w/o reflection or investigation or any kind of deeper research.

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      3. “Look, pretending that you have access to some deeper level of the universe is fun, and I get that it allows one to feel superior to others ”

        Nonsense, Brian. We ALL have this capacity. The point IS “Consciousness” and what consciousness truly is. It is immortal, indestructible and beyond space-time. How to prove this? Well, this is exactly the point.

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  4. You never gave me any feedback, Brian. Believe me, IF true, for in such cases one can never be 100% certain, as it is not a “perfect science” but subject to various influences (which is why in principle it cannot be tested and “proven” under laboratorial conditions), I would never make use of an event which might be very painful to someone just to prove a point. Rather the impression was of someone wishing to transmit a message of love to you, so that you might hold more hope in your heart.

    Yesterday morning the “impression” (for that is how it is) was that yes, it was a young girl, and that even to this date, despite the passing of so many years, she is still the same young girl (there is an explanation for this which I can forward later). The impression I had was that you were in the car as well, and that it was this such tragedy that was and is what lies behind all your skepticism.

    Yes, very often we ARE mistaken in the “impressions” we receive. And again this may indeed be the case. As I said before, often there is the interference of the medium’s own mind and thoughts, which is another reason as to why such phenomenon is so difficult to be tested and proven. More often than not, however, and I have had this happen so many hundreds of times, the “impressions” turn out to be correct.

    I have not in any way made any use of any tricks or frauds. I have merely shared the impressions that came to me. What also came to me was her saying that she was getting ready to come back to Earth. And in the end, in her childish voice, said “I love you” to me, which I thought was rather sweet.

    I have nothing to be gained by this, but rather much to lose, and yes, by running the risk yet again of being exposed to riducule and personal attacks. I have suffered with this often throughout my current lifetime. One of the worst occasions was at the James Randi Forum. If I do what I do, it is an act of love. And very contrary to what you affirm, the knowledge and evidence that one’s deceased loved one still does exist and is still “alive”, that life does go on even after physical death, is far more often than not na ENORMOUS relief and blessing to those who are suffering from the grief of the physical death of someone they loved. Far worst is the total lack of hope derived from skeptic beliefs.

    So rather than attack me, yet again, take into account that this was the true reason as to what I have attempted to do. The answers are always given individually. I honestly do not believe they will be given in terms of “proof” to any organisation to be exposed to worldwide knowledge. As I also said before, there are reasons for this not to be so. It is on “the other side”, in the Spiritual Dimensions (for there are nine, four above and four below our own), that this knowledge is widespread. Not here.

    Take care, my friend(s).

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  5. You also place what you keep saying as “well known facts”. Present them. Show your evidences. Are they from Mr Randi’s group? A group of biased non-researchers? I’ll pass… I have my own personal experience to go by.

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  6. “To put it simply: you are harming people around you by believing this nonsense.”

    Brian, I don’t think you quite grasp just how much Mr Randi and his followers are the ones who have truly harmed people. With you, I was just offended once, at the Randi Forum it was a gang bang. As to the”nonsense” that has prevailed, you are mistaken as to which side it has come from.

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    1. [Take it as you wish]

      Sure: it’s a trick of statistics: by throwing out names with no context, you put the work on to me to figure out how it ‘might’ fit my life. If I say ‘no’, you throw out another name. If I say ‘yes’, you throw out another set of common ailments or conditions for me to continue searching the database of people with that name I knew (however tenuously) to see if they match up. And on and on it goes.

      Meanwhile, when rebuffed and your bluff called, you get defensive and double-down.

      What you call ‘mediumship’, the rest of the world calls ‘guesswork’. When you dismiss criticism as ‘those bad Sceptics’, all you do is isolate yourself from criticism (valid or otherwise), and lock yourself deeper into this bullshit.

      You have zero good reasons to think that these names/ideas come from anything other your own brain. That you are occasionally correct and focus on that is known as ‘confirmation bias’.

      For future reference, if you’re going pull this schtick on the internet, google the person you’re speaking to. I’m Irish, so you’d have *far* better luck with ‘Nora’ or ‘Mary’, and either ‘throat cancer’, ‘lung cancer’, or ‘liver disease’. But that’s never going to happen *for real*, because you’re not getting *real* information. Just like you’d never pull out the names of any of the Japanese or Chinese people I know, because my name doesn’t prompt you to think in those terms.

      But whatever. You’re welcome to persist in your fraud. I see you.

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      1. Brian – Why do you think it’s acceptable to call someone a fraud? You’ve make numerous assertions which I’ve asked you to prove or elaborate on and you’ve refused. You also seem to pretend that mediums haven’t been studied with positive results.

        Charles – I personally wouldn’t bother with Brian or anyone that feels it’s okay to insult you or call you a fraud.

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        1. It’s pretty obvious that if anyone ACTUALLY had these kinds of powers they would be using them for other purposes besides the standard John Edward / Sylvia Browne shtick. It’s pretty obvious that anyone who actually claims to be a psychic medium is in fact a fraud. Think about it just for a moment. If you could communicate with the dead, wouldn’t you call up some pirate on the “ghoul phone” and ask where his treasure is buried?
          There’s gotta be thousands of buried treasures all over the world that have yet to be discovered.
          Or call up DB Cooper and ask what he did with the money, or any one of the other famous people who stole tons of money / gold / etc. and it was never found.
          Or if you’re a psychic medium, wouldn’t you be in Vegas right now betting your life savings on sporting events that you and only you know the outcome of? Or winning the multi-state lottos?
          Why would it even make sense for someone to set up shop as the standard shtick and have to go around pretending to talk to people’s dead relatives if they had these kinds of powers?
          It just doesn’t make any logical sense…If someone ACTUALLY had these powers the last thing they would do is tell someone else about it, let alone advertise the fact that they have them to the world. It’s a pretty easy litmus test to determine if someone is in fact a fraud.

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          1. What to you is “pretty obvious” is that unless one makes a financial gain then it cannot be true. What you fail to realize is that this is not how it works. Do remember it is spirituality we are talking about, and what that involves, not self gain. You know nothing about it, obviously…

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      2. [You’ve make numerous assertions which I’ve asked you to prove or elaborate on and you’ve refused. You also seem to pretend that mediums haven’t been studied with positive results.]

        If you’d refrain from making things up, and perhaps have a little patience while i, y’know, live my life, I’ll respond. Ironically, in the time it took you to type this babble, I’d responded to your other comment.

        I have zero doubts that mediums have been studied with positive results. As has every kind of bullshit ever thought of. The existence of positive studies, in and of themselves, doesn’t validate anything: the quality of the study matters significantly more, hence my asking you for specific studies (just as you have of me, for a variety of non-controversial and easy-to-find-if-bothered things).

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      3. Nah, you don’t “see” me, Brian. And if you’re Irish, I’m Scottish. Yes, the name just came to me. As did the impression that it could be your sister. No tricks. No frauds. And no, I wouldn’t throw out other names because no other names came to me. I don’t even know how your “cold-reading” guessing system works. Another thing that “came to me” was that this young girl died young. Maybe at the age of six. An impression of a car accident. But as you say, maybe I’m just playing tricks on you. People base others on themselves, Brian….

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      4. Brian, you keep calling Charles a “fraud”, but a fraud is someone who is intentionally deceiving somebody. You yourself said in an earlier post: “I can appreciate that you sincerely believe that you are in contact with [insert term of choice here.” If he believes he can communicate with spirits, then he is not a fraud.

        Let’s leave aside the question of whether Charles has this ability or not. There’s a difference between a person intentionally misleading someone and falsely believing that they have an ability. Intentionally misleading someone is fraud, falsely believing something isn’t. You seem to agree that Charles most likely genuinely believes he has a spiritual gift – which means he is not a fraud. He may not be in contact with spirits (my personal view is that these abilities are real) but he’s not trying to deceive anyone.

        As we all know, there are *are* fraudulent people claiming to be psychic who *know* that they cannot do what they claim. There are also many psychics and mediums who sincerely believe they have these abilities. Perhaps they’re mistaken, perhaps they’re not. But mistaken does not equal lying or fraud. I personally know several psychics who genuinely believe they can do this – they could well be incorrect. But what they’re not doing is behaving fraudulently.

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      5. [Brian, you keep calling Charles a “fraud”, but a fraud is someone who is intentionally deceiving somebody.]

        No. If I honestly believe that I own the rights to the Golden Gate Bridge, and attempt to sell it to people, I am committing fraud (in the ethical, not legal, sense). The papers that I’m presenting are not legitimate, the gain that I’m making would be at the expense of anyone who accepted my claims: they would have been defrauded. By who? Me. Ergo, I committed fraud, albeit unintentionally.

        (The laws on this vary significantly by nation, so I have zero interest in getting into a legal discussion)

        If I called Charles a *liar*, then yeah, I agree that intent matters. I don’t believe that he’s a liar, just a well-intentioned fraud.

        [But what they’re not doing is behaving fraudulently.]

        If they sat at home and believed these things in private: I’d agree.

        But the moment they ply their trade on other people, making a gain (be it financial, social or emotional), they are committing fraud. They have uttered a falsehood (that they have mystical powers), for the purpose of gaining something. The lack of intent might mitigate how we feel about what penalties should be applied, but it doesn’t magically change the category of the offense.

        Anywho, I’m done dealing with Tone Trolling at this point.

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    2. Woah Charles, you are one sick dude. And Brian, you are very patient. I think the best we can hope for is that people who haven’t thought much about this will clue in and not fall for the scam and manipulation.
      By the way, I think our spiritual energy fields must have been crossing or something because I have an elizabeth in my family. It must have been me he was reading. It’s amazing how detailed and accurate these psychics are, lol.

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      1. Ah, yet another who resorts to offence and ridicule. And still wishes to call ME the “sick dude”. You guys are really something. Come down to Brazil. I’ll take you to the Spiritual Center where I do my charity work as a medium. Come see for yourselves. You arrogant pricks.

        This is the line I work in. But you wouldn’t be able to grasp it or reach it. Not in a 1.000 years.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbanda

        BTW, you can continue with all your offence. As I said to Brian, it means absolutely nothing to me…

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        1. I had already read through all of the responses but I do love how smoothly you shift from conversation to giving directives and orders. I love how you move to authoritative comments about people’s personalities and motives as if you have any idea what you are talking about. Fascinating. And you try to weasel in there looking for vulnerabilities hoping to get a hit. Messages from dead people, hahahaha! A child said she loves him – isn’t that sweet. Like I said, you’re one sick dude. But you’re also quite skilled at this and I have no doubt that there are many people who fall for your bullshit. I’m not going to spend more time here. I do hope that someone reading this who may have been pulled in by this kind of garbage, will wake up.

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          1. That’s right. Offend and then bail out when you run out of argumentation, hubertha, or whoever you are. Good riddance.

            You don’t hold the capacity or knowledge to counter-argument. So you might just as well…

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      2. “I think our spiritual energy fields must have been crossing or something because I have an elizabeth in my family.”

        Yes, that does often happen, but I don’t believe this was the case here. I did explain to Brian that one of the hardest things concerning mediumnic communications is differentiating between what is truly mediumnic and that which is the interference of the medium’s own mind and thoughts. It is not a “perfect science” and is therefore impossible to be “proven” under the conditions laboratorial science would want it to be to be considered as “proof”. Chances are more likely that it won’t. These things are not under the medium’s determination. A “medium” is merely an intermediary, an instrument. I transmitted what came to me. That’s all. No tricks. No frauds. No “hot” or “cold” readings (of which I know nothing about). Yes, and I only did so because Brian challenged and asked. I have seen it effective hundreds of times. It seems it wasn’t in his case, but only Brian can know for sure.

        What you guys don’t understand is how it works. It does not work in the manner that you and he think and expect it should work.

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  7. “And yet, there is a paucity of self-identified psychics coming forward to have their abilities tested under rigorous controls. If these people are honest and have the powers they profess, this is a mystery. If they don’t have the powers they profess, and yet believe that they do: this is a mystery. The only reasonable conclusion to draw here is that they don’t have the powers, nor do they honestly believe that they do.

    Given the vast, *vast* numbers of self-proclaimed psychics in the world, the only conclusion to draw from this is that psychic powers do not exist.”

    Brian, undoubtedly there are charalatans everywhere. And always be suspicious of anyone who charges for their “services”. One cannot and should not charge for a “gift” that is given freely. Likewise in rdelation to the million dollar prize. You are being materialistic. Again, remember what it is we are referring to. If you expect nothing, you will receive nothing. I live in Brazil. Have worked as an incorporating medium for 25 years. More than enough to know the “truth” of what I deal with. I have had ample personal “proof”. But I am not a showman. And as they say here, if I use such a gift for profit or out of pride or any other such reason, my Father will hit me. 🙂

    Look for the answers individually, and with an open mind and heart, Brian, and I believe you will find them..

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    1. [One cannot and should not charge for a “gift” that is given freely.]

      Nonsense. So long as we exist within a capitalist framework, people will need to earn income in order to maintain their lives. This idea that people who legitimately have psychic powers must provide their time and effort to others free? That’s just ridiculous.

      [More than enough to know the “truth” of what I deal with.]

      No, that’s not how reality works. The human brain is excellent at self-deception, at ignoring the misses and focusing on the hits, regardless of how few and far between they are.

      I can appreciate that you sincerely believe that you are in contact with [insert term of choice here], but you aren’t. While I’m glad you’re not taking money from vulnerable people, you’re wasting their time. Moreover, the research shows that people who go to mediums and other folk who claim to contact the dead have prolonged periods of grief and depression compared to those who don’t seek out mediums and such.

      To put it simply: you are harming people around you by believing this nonsense.

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      1. Much to the contrary, my friend. I help them. Shall I go there, Brian? Not charging anything at all and certainly not out of pride or anything of such nature? Who is Elisabeth? Does it relate? Keep in mind I am just doing this in a hope that it might diminish your scepticism. But it is a name that has come to me. Yes, it could be nothing at all. Just an impression. This can happen as well. The hardest thing in mediumnic manifestations is determining that which is truly mediumnic and that which is merely the intereference of the medium’s mind and thoughts. But for what it is worth, does the name mean anything to you? Someone you used to know?

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      2. [Who is Elisabeth? Does it relate? Keep in mind I am just doing this in a hope that it might diminish your scepticism.]

        Seriously? You’re going to use cold-reading techniques in an attempt to diminish my scepticism?

        You’re a fraud, Charlesboden. What’s worse is that you don’t even realise that you are.

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      3. Brian – You shouldn’t ask Charles to ‘prove’ he’s a medium then call him a fraud straight away. I think you should apologise.

        Secondly – since when were you the authority on mediumship? There is some evidence that mediums can do what they do that I’ve linked you to, please read it. You said that mediums make grief worse – can I see evidence for that assertion please? Julie Beischel has found the exact opposite in her research so I’m skeptical of your claim.

        Cheers!

        Robbie

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      4. [Brian – You shouldn’t ask Charles to ‘prove’ he’s a medium then call him a fraud straight away. I think you should apologise]

        That’s lovely. I think he should stop defrauding people. I guess we’ll both be left dissatisfied…..

        [There is some evidence that mediums can do what they do that I’ve linked you to, please read it.]

        You’ve linked to a page with a metric ton of studies: pick what you consider the ‘best’ of the bunch, and I’ll read through it.

        You still haven’t answered my question: what is the relevant of pupil dilation studies to those people who claim that they can read minds/see the future?

        [You said that mediums make grief worse – can I see evidence for that assertion please?]

        It’s considered such a basic fact that prolonging grief/mourning has poorer outcomes with regards to depression, anxiety and suicide that it’s taught at the undergrad level in psychology courses. When I have some time over the next few days, I’ll attempt to dig up some information. However, this is a well-studied and supported concept, you should easily be able to find the information yourself.

        It’s also well known that people who seek out mediums (and such) have prolonged mourning/grieving periods. It’s also documented that those who were nearing the end of their grieving period had it all kicked off again (as if they had just re-experienced the loss) by visiting a medium. This is a little harder to come by, it might take more than a week for me to dig this up.

        Putting those two together indicates that mediums have a causal hand in worsening grief and contributing to suffering (depression/anxiety/suicide) in our society.

        [Julie Beischel has found the exact opposite in her research so I’m skeptical of your claim.]

        I’ve never heard of this, beyond a google search indicating that she’s a medium with a degree in psychology. Could you point me at a particular paper? It’s fine if it’s behind a paywall.

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      5. Brian – I’m going to make this short, I will give you a link, scroll down to the ‘survival of consciousness’ part, and pick Beischel’s paper. Here’s the link, yet again:

        http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

        I never said pupil dilation relates, except for a way of measuring a potential unconscious reaction to future stimuli.

        Until you can provide evidence that mediums make grief and suffering worse I remain skeptical of that claim.

        Beischel isn’t a medium and is trained in toxicology/pharmacology – where are you getting that information from?

        Cheers!

        Robbie

        Liked by 1 person

      6. [I’m going to make this short, I will give you a link, scroll down to the ‘survival of consciousness’ part, and pick Beischel’s paper.]

        Experiment 1: Estimated Item Scores

        “The Five-Questions sections of the target readings were estimated to be 47.4% +/- 5.2% accurate vs. those sections of the decoy readings that were estimated to be 35.6% +/- 5.7% accurate. This difference is in the expected direction but is not significant (P = .09)”

        Experiment 2: Hits vs. Misses

        With no access to the actual data, or any idea of how the sitters considered something to be ‘an obvious hit’ or ‘minimal interpretation’, there’s no way for me to determine whether this demonstrates anything. It certainly doesn’t “exclude ordinary explanations”, contrary to the claims in the study.

        In either case, I’d agree that this experiment is definitely moving in the right direction, with significantly better methodology than most I’ve seen, but it’s still pretty weak sauce.

        [Beischel isn’t a medium and is trained in toxicology/pharmacology – where are you getting that information from?]

        That’s a mistake on my part. I scanned the opening of this interview (http://www.skeptiko.com/51-dr-julie-beischel-responds-to-critics-of-psychic-medium-research/), and got the impression that she was a medium herself. The psychology thing I must have just backfilled, since much of the research on this topic is typically in (para)psychology. My bad.

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      7. Brian – I think you should read the study better before saying it’s ‘weak sauce’ – you’re merely confirming your prejudices on the matter. The design of the experiment excludes cold reading, hot reading, reader bias, experimenter bias and so on – so how do you explain that the intended readings were on average more accurate then the decoy ones and why people picked the intended reading more often then the decoy one?

        There’s another mediumship study, done in 2011 in that link I gave to you earlier – you should check that one out too.

        I also see you’re continuing to insult Charles in another thread – I think you should stop. And stop saying there’s no evidence for this stuff when I’ve linked you to some evidence.

        Cheers!

        Robbie

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      8. [I think you should read the study better before saying it’s ‘weak sauce’ – you’re merely confirming your prejudices on the matter.]

        I gave explanations as to why I said so.

        There were two primary experiments. The first had no statistical significance to the difference of results obtained, and the second gave no details to how the responses were coded (no examples, no access to the data that was gathered, nothing).

        I’ve read it just fine, and it would be great if you could actually respond to the substance of my comment rather than, again, making it all about me.

        [so how do you explain that the intended readings were on average more accurate then the decoy ones]

        In experiment 1, there’s no statistical significance to the choice, meaning that the prefering of the one over the other is no better than chance.

        I admire your self-confidence to ignore that, while declaring that I should “read the study better”.

        [There’s another mediumship study, done in 2011 in that link I gave to you earlier – you should check that one out too.]

        No, I’m good. You don’t seem to be in a position to adequently judge good methodology over poor methodology, as I won’t be trusting your judgement on this.

        [I also see you’re continuing to insult Charles in another thread – I think you should stop.]

        You’re welcome to think whatever you like. Personally, I think he should stop making up nonsense about people, but clearly *I’m* the bad guy for pointing out the bullshit. /eyeroll

        But I guess this whole ‘you can say whatever you want’ schtick is a one-way street? It only applies if you call yourself a medium?

        [And stop saying there’s no evidence for this stuff when I’ve linked you to some evidence.]

        You linked me to a study by people who appear to be in favour of mediumship being real, whose experiement showed that the ‘vetted’ mediums (whatever the hell *that* is) performed no better than chance.

        So yeah: I’ve yet to see any positive studies with good methodologies regarding mediumship = there is no (good) evidence in support of this claim.

        The only appropriate response to my criticism is to explain the following two things:

        1) Explain why you believe that the results from Experiment 1 support your claims about mediumship, even though they were not statistically significant. (good luck with that…..)

        2) Explain why I should just take the experimentors’ word that the ratings of the statements were accurate, and did not include any kind of bias on the part of the sitters.

        If you continue to natter on about me, my background, my personal life, or my forceful disagreement with Charles, or just attempt to shift the discussion to *yet another study*, I’ll take it that you don’t actually have further substantive points to make. You can keep the discussion on topic and productive, or not, but the choice is ultimately yours.

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        1. Brian – This is getting difficult now. You chose one small part of the experiment to focus on (the 5 question part of experiment one – the other part which you ignored was significant), which didn’t have significant results as it confirms your beliefs on this subject. Every other part of the experiment was significant – which you’d know if you’d read it properly.

          A sitter can’t rate the reading in a biased way – they are giving two readings, one of which is a decoy, so they don’t know which is theirs. The only way it would be biased is if one reading is more accurate then the other, in this study the intended readings were more accurate then the decoy ones, of getting non local information wasn’t possible, you should expect chance results or something around that – that wasn’t what happened.

          The difference is Charles isn’t insulting someone and being openly hostile – that’s the difference.

          Cheers!

          Robbie

          Like

          1. [You chose one small part of the experiment to focus on (the 5 question part of experiment one – the other part which you ignored was significant)]

            Yes, I’m focusing on whether the actual answers to the questions were accurate, or not. Weird, eh?

            [Every other part of the experiment was significant – which you’d know if you’d read it properly.]

            Ah I see. So rather than me making an active choice about which parts are salient, or not, and then you disagreeing and discussing that, the problem is that I just can’t read studies “properly”. I see that you’re choosing to focus on *me*, rather than the study again. Weird that you keep doing that….

            So let’s break it down:

            In terms of accuracy of answers: no statistical significance.
            In terms of subjective experience (i.e. did it feel like much interpretation was needed): the non-decoy readings were rated as needing less “interpretation”.
            In terms of the sitters choosing which of the two readings was the non-decoy: no statistical significance.

            There. Now I’m not “ignoring” anything. If you would kindly get back on topic, and explain to me why this experiment supports the alleged ability of mediums when 1) the accuracy of their answers is no better than chance, and 2) the sitters were unable to tell the difference between the decoy and non-decoy readings, that would be awesome.

            If you insist on focusing on me, and my ‘inability to read the study properly’, I’ll take that to mean that you don’t actually have a substantive response to these questions.

            As for Charles: yeah, it’s totally weird that I got hostile when he asserted that my non-existent dead sister was talking to him, and telling him that she loved me. How *dare* I not treat that explicit attempt at emotional manipulation as if it’s something meaningful. Fuck that noise.

            I’m done discussing Charles at this point. I’ve asked you to move on from that already, and to focus on this study. If you’re incapable of doing so, then fair enough, I’ll move on with my life. But I’d prefer to focus on this study, which is (in fairness) the best I’ve seen to date on the topic, as much as it falls short of reaching it’s goals.

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            1. Wharever is it with all your anger and rage, Brian? And your absolute determination at proving your skeptic point of view???? You have problems, mate? Os should I state that? You are WRONG, Brian. Wrong in your beliefs. Wrong in your concepts. Wrong concerning the reality of it all. No matter how hard you might try to argument otherwise.,,, Honestly, man… Go and get yourself checked out.

              Like

            2. Brian – I’m focusing on you as you are inaccurately assessing the study and clearly not reading it properly. The experiment one which you’re quoting from had two parts, the bit you’re talking about was the forced five question part, which even though it wasn’t ‘significant’, the target readings did 10% better then the decoy ones. The free form section was significantly better in the target readings then the decoy ones, as were the global scores. Experiment 2 and the exploratory study were also significant.

              The combined results of both experiments were significant in the expected direction if you check out the conclusions part as well, this includes the telling your reading from the decoy one (combined results were 68%, instead of the 50% expected by chance).

              So, when you read all the results properly then we can discuss the study, until then it’s very difficult for us to. I’m glad you accept it’s a good study though, I’ve had other skeptics say the study is useless, but when asked they were unable to tell me why. Some skeptics will point blank refuse to read any studies – so again I commend you for that.

              In terms of Charles, you told him he was wasting people’s time and to ‘prove it’.
              before he did that, so what are you getting hostile and complaining about? You basically asked him to do a reading. He didn’t just start saying that stuff randomly.

              And I would definitely check out the 2011 paper, one of the mediums results were very good (all six of this medium’s readings were correctly chosen out of a choice of six readings each time). and you find out more about the content of the readings.

              Cheers!

              Robbie

              Liked by 1 person

              1. [which even though it wasn’t ‘significant’, the target readings did 10% better then the decoy ones]

                /Headdesk

                If you don’t understand the relevance of statistical significance, then we’re done here.

                But hey, keep on telling me that I’m not reading this study “properly”.

                Anywho. I’ve spent enough time here in the no-science zone to do me for the foreseeable future. /subbing

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                  1. Brian, you can try to ignore me all you wish. The only “non-Science zone” here is yours. “Science” is not contrary to “Spirituality”. They are connected. Noting is unexplainable. They are all parto of what Creation truly is. You just don’t possess the knowledge or the capacity to find the answers. And you won’t. So carry on living in your skeptic world. To each, his own… Now go and try and find something better to do.

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                1. Brian – That’s cool, ignore the rest of my comment about the combined results being significant and the other parts being significant.

                  You also seem to resort to insulting people when things aren’t going well – doesn’t speak much for your position does it?

                  Notice how I haven’t insulted you or been hostile the entire time – so let’s leave the ‘no science zone’ and other comments in your head and not type them out.

                  Yes I’m sure we’re done here since you’ve realised the conclusions of the study are in fact statistically significant – you just chose to ignore that part.

                  Cheers!

                  Robbie

                  Like

    2. It would certainly seem that with regards to being materialistic, a self professed psychic who is only interested it the alturistic use of their “gift” could no doubt use their ability to win the lottery and donate the proceeds to charity or at the least, to help a number of persons . .

      But strangly, this does not seem to happen. I don’t recall any cases of a person using their gift for such reasons. It could be considered a JREF challenge in reverse.. . win the money, demonstrate that you had knowledge of the numbers before and proclaim psychic ability. . . That does not seem to happen either

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      1. Wesley – That’s you deciding a priori how psychic abilities ‘should’ work, instead of how they might actually work.

        There’s been plenty of studies done on this stuff now, and this stuff seems to exist. It’s just weaker and less reliable then we assume.

        If you want to find out more, check out this link full of links to studies done in this area:

        http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

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  8. “That’s kind of the point: if ‘spiritual’ abilities access a non-material dimension, then we have an avenue of investigation to pursue. If there is no avenue of investigation to pursue, then ‘spiritual’ abilities do not access a non-material dimension.

    You can’t have have it both ways, that a ‘spiritual’ dimension exists, and there is no way to investigate it. In that case, there are precisely zero grounds for claiming that such a dimension exists.”

    It is only accessible telepathically, Brian. Mediumnically. But remember what it is that is being dealt with. We are referring to spirituality. The determinations are theirs, not ours. This is why no serious medium would approach the James Randi test. That is not how it works.

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    1. [It is only accessible telepathically, Brian. Mediumnically. But remember what it is that is being dealt with. We are referring to spirituality. The determinations are theirs, not ours. This is why no serious medium would approach the James Randi test. That is not how it works.]

      This is just nonsense.

      If someone has an ability, it can be demonstrated. We’re not discussing “how” something works but “that” something works. If they have an ability “that” works, then they can demonstrate it, under conditions designed to prevent fraud.

      If someone has an ability, but claims they can only demonstrate it while not under conditions designed to prevent fraud, that should raise serious red flags.

      The word “spirituality” isn’t a ‘get out of testing’ word. This is a word that is used to take money from people, especially those who are grieving, poor and vulnerable. Much like plumbing is regulated, Much like doctors are regulated. Much like *everything* is regulated. To argue that mediums can’t be regulated because “spirituality” is to continue to allow for frauds to prey on the vulnerable.

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      1. [And sorry, no, it is not nonsense.]

        Ok: prove it. 😉

        Any positive claim that I assert to be true can be demonstrated, either by evidence or argument.

        Off you go: demonstrate that you *really are* a medium.

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  9. I approached the forum referring to the case of a crime and some possible indications as to mediumnic communications that forwarded some evidence. It was the members of the forum who began to dig up information about me from the internet, and hence the topic wavered towards reincarnation.

    Once I was watching a program in which a lady scientist was using an analogy to explain what a different dimension would be like. In front of a TV screen, she explained that she, in a 3rd dimension (depth), would be able to see and hear all that happened in a bidimensional reality (the TV screen), but that those in a bidimensional reality would never be able to hear or see her in a 3rd, even if she were a billionth of an inch from the screen. Yes, that is how I believe a spiritual dimension would be. How to prove that? Well, yes, it’s impossible. We cannot.

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  10. Made the sad mistake of entering their fórum once. I mentioned a case of mediumnic communication and made reference to hypnotic past life regression. Ended up ridiculed, personally offended and very seriously attacked. You are right. There was never any intention on their part of any serious scientific investigation, only the mockery they could come up with to back up their biased and totally pre-judgemental sceptical disbelief in anything and everything.

    The answer to the equation lies in what “consciousness” really truly is, as rather than just a mere side effect of electrochemical reactions of the brain. As to the spiritual phenomenon, it is clearly a dimensional one. We do possess one or more dimensional bodies which are known as spiritual bodies. And yes, we have all lived many previous lives. Hypnotic regressions and spontaneous memories, in particular amongst youngsters, have strongly evidenced this.

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    1. [hypnotic past life regression]

      There is a lot of research in psychology that shows that this is not a thing.

      [There was never any intention on their part of any serious scientific investigation, only the mockery they could come up with to back up their biased and totally pre-judgemental sceptical disbelief in anything and everything.]

      Wait….. You approached lay-people on an internet forum with ideas that have mountains of evidence against them, and expected professional scientific interest?

      Yes, absolutely, the JREF forums are full of jerks (i.e. humans). The forum that follows a thing, however, is not the thing.

      [As to the spiritual phenomenon, it is clearly a dimensional one.]

      “Clearly”? It is not at all clear, in any way at all.

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  11. The Challenge was for publicity, no doubt. But nothing prevented those who made the extraordinary claims from demonstrating what they said they could do either through the JREF or other friendly lab situations. I’d suggest taking a look at the state of the science of parapsychology in Cardena et al. Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century (2015). I’m not the only one who thought it was a very sad reflection on the field where they admit the evidence is less than convincing and they are having trouble moving forward. Also, they blame skeptics, which is a cop-out excuse.

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    1. Hi Idoubtit

      The book you give is just a source that backs up your beliefs on the subject of psi and Parapsychology. Many of the researchers in the field are very optimistic of the future, and feel the evidence is very strong.

      Which of the evidence do you find unconvincing? The presentiment studies? The RNG studies? The Ganzfeld studies? The remote viewing studies? Recent research with mediums?

      Parapsychology has plenty of evidence in the field and the JREF million dollar challenge is a one off PR stunt that hasn’t really got anything to do with whether psi is real or not (I for one thing it clearly is, just not in fitting with people’s preconceptions of how it ‘should work’, but I suspect you disagree!

      Cheers!

      Robbie

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  12. ” … truly gifted people out there who don’t crave fame and attention”. In our Facebook age, that’s a weak argument. And even if they didn’t want fame and attention, how about fortune?. The US is less than 1/20th of the worlds population, you don’t think some poor, humble, ‘non-attention wanting’ kid (genuinely psychic) from India isn’t going to simply want the million dollars (and frankly, PLUS the attention). It hasn’t happened and will not. Either Psychic phenomena is true and mercurial (therefore can never be proven) or it simply does not exist at all – because it clearly cannot be demonstrated on demand to satisfy the JREF challenge. Both of the other possibilities doom the ‘study’ of psychic phenomena to continued fringe status.

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    1. Hey there James, hope you’re okay, just gonna reply to a few of your points.

      In terms of the fame or fortune bit, that’s just an assumption that A) They would want the fame or fortune and B) The JREF million dollar challenge is the best way of achieving it.

      I certainly think there are many, many issues with the challenge, and it is just a very good PR stunt, it has nothing to say about the existence of psychic phenomenon as it is not science. It’s a one off test which doesn’t prove anything either way.

      Regardless, there are several classes of experiments into psychic phenomenon or psi that have yielded positive results, such as the Ganzfeld, the precognition/presentiment studies, remote viewing studies, micro PK studies and so on. They all pretty conclusively say that psychic phenomenon exists, it’s just a smaller effect and is much less reliable then people assume it would be or should be. They are much more relevant to this debate then the million dollar challenge.

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      1. “… the precognition/presentiment studies”. Well that one (the Bem experiments) did have the world abuzz a few years ago – I was initially intrigued too (and believe me, I’d love to switch teams again, once being firmly on the ‘pro’ side … but that was before I learned that not all is as it appears when it comes to people and their motivations). However, a study involving the displaying of pictures very briefly at an apparently below perceivable level, and then correlating that statistically with something that comes a few milli-seconds before it should be ‘knowable’ – it’s really starting to get somewhat away from the old days of the Zener cards. And best case we’re talking about something just a tiny bit higher than chance and it apparently is only ‘active’ (ie can see into the future) for a few milliseconds. And that’s if I’m even understanding one of the five or six rather confusing tests.

        As far as micro PK – is Nina Kulagina in that category ? Where is the subsequent 50 years did we see another Kulagina? 7 billion people now alive, and not one other has displayed her abilities?

        Another article I recently read was about *very* identical twins in Australia (they finished each others sentences) who frankly said they were one person not two (rarely, if ever, have been apart in 30 years). One would think if transference of thoughts could be done, this pair has a big advantage over everyone else. Yet i don’t hear about any Australian psychic group clamoring to get them tested. The psychic community just can’t seem to get its act together and work together to get something accomplished … maybe they’re afraid of the likely results.

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      2. Hello again James!

        Yeah we are getting far away from Zener cards haha. The presentiment is only small, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or significant. If we can get any information for our future – the implications are huge.

        I’m not talking about Nina Kulagina, that’s Macro PK (moving things you can see) – I’m not saying anything about her either way I wasn’t aware of her till you brought her up and had to look her up quickly. I’m talking about on the tiny, even quantum level – random number generators, the double slit experiment, that kind of stuff.

        I agree they should be tested, the problem is likely a lack of finding. Though from what I’ve read these kind of groups, selected groups (twins, meditators, people who did well in previous studies, people who say they are psychic or report anomalous experiences) tend to do much better in psi experiments.

        Anyway it’s been beautiful chatting – if you want to read any of this research I’d recommend this link:

        http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

        Cheers!

        Robbie

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    2. I did propose at the time to subject myself to the test. But I’m darned if I am going to pay from my own pocket to go to wherever it is and expose myself to the sorts of Mr Randi and his squad. I would subject myself to testing elsewhere, but not there. I am sure there are many who feel the same.

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    3. James, I am a teacher in Brazil. Yes, a million dollars would do me just fine, thank you. But would I submit myself to the James Randi challenge? Definitely not. Neither would so many others. No one can guarantee such an outcome. If you read about the Brazilian medium Chico Xavier, he knew that if he made any personal gain from his capacity, either he would suffer the consequences or would lose them. His books sold by the millions, but he donated all the proceeds from their sales to charity. Again, understand what it is we are referring to.

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  13. The JREF challenge was, and always will be a joke because it is run by skeptics who have proven themselves to be untrustworthy. No sane psychic is going to put themselves in the hands of people who are pathologically in denial of psychic ability. The basic problem with the challenges was that they were short, high pressure and full of drama, which is pretty much the exact opposite of a good psi test. Unless you also create the best possible conditions for psi to appear, all you done is create a challenge that no one can pass, making it meaningless. I would argue that this was their intent all along. The challenge seemed to me to be a giant hoax on skeptics, designed to keep Randi rolling in cash. It certainly wasn’t good for anything else.

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    1. Everyone who participated in the Challenge agreed to the conditions beforehand and everything that could be done to make them comfortable was done. You are creating a straw man here and are incorrect in your presumptions.

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    2. craigweiler,
      Are you saying that a psychics ability to devine some event or information is based on a receptive audience? Logically, if someone has the abiliity to produce verifiable psychic results, it should not contingent upon being surrounded by believers.

      “Skeptics” just seek to control the most likely varible, the very human tendency to lie or cheat, often to promote stealing.

      You insist that the skeptics are infact the bad guy because they attempt to prove that an overwhelming number of people who profess to have psychic ability, yet are frauds and tricksters.

      There is no mindset more conducive to cheating than the explination you put forth.

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      1. Wesley – You’re making it punt like Skeptics treat psychics fairly and don’t mock, insult or deride them. Scroll down and look at a skeptic insulting a guy who claims to be psychic.

        Anyway we don’t need the JREF challenge or so called Skeptics – we have plenty of studies that give us high confidence that this stuff exists. It just doesn’t seem to work as reliably or is as strong or pronounced as we’d like it to be. I’ve given you a link to some of the studies in my other comment to you – check it out.

        Cheers!

        Robbie

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      2. Wesley, again that is not how it works. What is transmitted is only that which is permitted. We have destiny, karma and free will involved in the process. Again remember what it is that is beaing dealt with. Spirituality. There are reasons for things being as they are. There are reasons for the whole of humankind not to have “proof”. The search is always an individual one. The problem with skeptics is that no matter how much evidence is presented to them, they will always make use of argumentation to “debunk” it. Even if, when all else fails, even their argumentation, by attacking and offending personally and calling anyone who attempts to present some evidence as a fraud, a cheat or a thief. It is not physical reality we are dealing with or talking about. It is subjective reality. It is metaphysical reality. And for these phenomenae, the normal rules of physical science and “proof” do not apply.

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        1. [I have merely shared the impressions that came to me.]

          Having a random thought does not entail that you are experiencing messages from dead people. Ultimately, you have *zero* evidence to support the notion that these experiences are generated outside of your skull.

          Now, you can (of course) waffle on and on about “spirituality”, but that doesn’t change the simple point of fact that merely having a feeling that the experience is from outside of your body does nothing at all towards demonstrating that it *actually* comes from outside your body.

          In the meantime, you persist with the nonsense that you’re receiving messages from a girl I’ve never known, in some kind of accident that I was never involved in, and have the audacity that you’re doing so so that I “might hold more hope in” my “heart”. How childish is the notion that someone seeks evidence *only* because they suffered a tragedy! How arrogant!

          “It is on “the other side”, in the Spiritual Dimensions (for there are nine, four above and four below our own), that this knowledge is widespread.”

          Sure it is. Meanwhile, the Goblin King tells me that all this is a lie. He also tells me that you won’t believe this, because you’ve made ‘being a medium’ central to your identity. Personally, I think he’s pretty arrogant to make such claims about your psychological state, but who am I to argue with the Goblin King? Of course, only a *skeptic* would ask me for evidence of the Goblin King, and you’ve made it quite clear that you’re not one of those, so I guess you’ll just have to accept my word that what the Goblin King tells me is true. Right?

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          1. “Having a random thought does not entail that you are experiencing messages from dead people. Ultimately, you have *zero* evidence to support the notion that these experiences are generated outside of your skull.”

            Yes, I do have “evidence”. Quite a lot of it, actually. Please see the example case I have shared at the end of this thread concerning the Brazilian medium Chico Xavier.

            No, it does not always work, which is why it cannot be “tested scientifically”. Under the conditions imposed, it is more likely that it won’t. As I have said many times, it is not under our determination. Question it as you will. I already know beforehand the arguments you are going to use. I am attempting to explain. You can take it or leave, but seeing as your mind is already set, I can say for sure which one it will be.

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          2. Brian, you again keep calling others arrogant and again seem totally blind to your own. You have on purpose ignored any comment I have made regarding what I have come to learn from 25 years of experience dealing with mediumship and spirituality directly. I presented you the case of Chico Xavier and again you ignored it, but prefer to keep on with your rambling. I have to agree with what others have been saying about you here.

            You seem to think you are entitled in some way, or that someone, incarnated or not, owes you some kind of explanation or “proof”. How arrogant. Mediumnic communications do so often hit the target. I have often said to you to remember what it is we are dealing with. The knowledge, evidence and even proof of it is given to those who are open to it. Individually. Clearly not your case. And also one of the reasons why no serious médium would even approach Mr Randi’s “testing”. If what came to me were misses, even more the evidence that I never attempted to cheat on you or make use of any kind of trick or fraud, which you so often accused me of.

            In the case of Chico Xavier and the TV director, who himself was a skeptic, in the psychography there were references to exact words the diretor has said to his father, alone, in a hospital room, just prior to his father’s death. Even as a skeptic, this man knew that there was absolutely no possibility of a trick or a fraud. Such as this case, I have seen and have presenced many, so do take this into account before you so promptly continue to make use of all you have learned from others similar to you, who are biased and already have their minds set at disbelieving anything that is put forward to them.

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      3. Psi research is science and I caution you against making unfounded assumptions about something you know nothing about. Your comments bear so little resemblance to actual research that it’s pointless to try to educate you. Particularly as you obviously have your mind made up.

        What you have is skepticism without research or knowledge. I cannot take that seriously.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. [I caution you against making unfounded assumptions about something you know nothing about.]

          Huh. So you’re not making any assumptions about my background and knowledge in this area? Because I disagree with your evaluation of this field, I’m *necessarily* ignorant of this area?

          How arrogant.

          I also love that people are liking these comments of yours, including Jenn. It really indicates the tone and level of intellectual honesty here. At least Robbie is (somewhat) attempting to have a substantive conversation…….

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          1. You misunderstand. It’s not because you disagree, but rather how you disagree. You betray your ignorance through the types of statements you make. I can respect a skeptic that knows what they’re talking about. You’re not one of them. I know a great deal about psi research and I can certainly spot someone bullshitting their way along with a bunch of half-assed hand waving. You haven’t done any real evaluations of the data, you’ve just skimmed a paper or two looking for something to criticize. You think I haven’t seen that before? I can’t take you seriously when you’re criticizing a study you met ten minutes ago.

            You also have no real background in this subject. How many meta analyses have been done on the Ganzfeld and by whom? What were the overall results? How many researchers have been involved over the years? How many trials have been done? What are the objections? What are the rebuttals to the objections? This is the most basic stuff you need to know about psi research before you can begin to have an intelligent discussion.

            Oh, and the accusations of arrogance and lack of intellectual honesty? That’s both hilarious and sad.

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                1. [So much easier than research isn’t it?]

                  I’ve repeatedly asked you to stick to research, yet you have persisted in tone-trolling.

                  And when called on your tone-trolling, you act as if I have no interest in research.

                  Trolling: so much easier than engaging in substantive discussion, isn’t it?

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                  1. You’re confusing trolling with being called out. I asked you some questions about the Ganzfeld, the most important and high profile class of experiments in parapsychology. If you can’t answer them then don’t expect me to take you seriously.

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  14. For the average person who knows nothing about PSI or telepathy testing, the Sheldrake study was a great introduction that garnered interest precisely because it wasn’t overly technical. People can get behind something to which they can relate personally and most people can relate to the sense of being stared at, or knowing when someone is about to call. Far fewer of my readers will be excited by random number generators, no matter how bulletproof the study. I have never held up Dr. Sheldrake’s study as a paragon of science or psi research. I linked to the white paper and invited my readers to read it themselves so they make their own determination on it. To be fair though, what study doesn’t have flaws? Perhaps if his research had the backing of a huge university grant, the study could have been performed with more controls and a more well-designed methodology, but research of this type is done on a limited budget. Taking that into consideration, I think Dr. Sheldrake produced a fair study which was honest about its shortcomings. Two other researchers repeated his tests and found similar statistical results. Despite the issues already outlined, I think this indicates that telephone telepathy and the sense of being stared at are worth more rigorous investigation. If I can get more ordinary people interested in psi research with something like telephone telepathy, then perhaps some will decide to dig deeper into the larger, more rigorous studies. I also included links to Dr. Bieschel’s triple-blind study and the GCP research, both of which are excellent studies that I hoped would also be interesting to the reader.

    But honestly, arguing about the Sheldrake study is tangential to the topic at hand, which is the JREF challenge. My only purpose for referencing Sheldrake’s telepathy study in the JREF post was to show how a test like Sheldrake’s telephone test requires repeated trials to calculate hits against chance, which would not be accepted using the JREF protocols.

    -Jenn

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    1. [My only purpose for referencing Sheldrake’s telepathy study in the JREF post was to show how a test like Sheldrake’s telephone test requires repeated trials to calculate hits against chance, which would not be accepted using the JREF protocols.]

      You seem to be criticising the ‘million dollar challenge’ for not-doing something that it never claimed to be doing: it was never about setting up a scientific study.

      Sheldrake, and other people doing research are testing the idea that ‘psychic powers are a thing that exist in the world’.
      JREF is a challenge to those who say ‘I have psychic powers’.

      These are two entirely different things. You appear to be making a category error in your criticism.

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      1. I approached the forum referring to the case of a crime and some possible indications as to mediumnic communications that forwarded some evidence. It was the members of the forum who began to dig up information about me from the internet, and hence the topic wavered towards reincarnation.

        Once I was watching a program in which a lady scientist was using an analogy to explain what a different dimension would be like. In front of a TV screen, she explained that she, in a 3rd dimension (depth), would be able to see and hear all that happened in a bidimensional reality (the TV screen), but that those in a bidimensional reality would never be able to hear or see her in a 3rd, even if she were a billionth of an inch from the screen. Yes, that is how I believe a spiritual dimension would be. How to prove that? Well, yes, it’s impossible. We cannot.

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      2. Brian – The Million Dollar Challenge is repeatedly cited by ‘Skeptics’ as evidence that psychic phenomenon don’t exist at all – that’s where her criticism is coming from.

        Cheers!

        Robbie

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      3. [Yes, that is how I believe a spiritual dimension would be. How to prove that? Well, yes, it’s impossible. We cannot.]

        That’s kind of the point: if ‘spiritual’ abilities access a non-material dimension, then we have an avenue of investigation to pursue. If there is no avenue of investigation to pursue, then ‘spiritual’ abilities do not access a non-material dimension.

        You can’t have have it both ways, that a ‘spiritual’ dimension exists, and there is no way to investigate it. In that case, there are precisely zero grounds for claiming that such a dimension exists.

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        1. How can you access and prove something that is beyond known and accessible dimensions? You can’t. That’s the whole point. Though as I said to you, it can and is accessed telepathically or mediumnically. But again, it is under the determination of those in the dimension and that can access ours, and not vice versa. It is their determination. Not ours. And though you might find all this BS, from my own personal experience this is precisely how it works. Can I prove it to you by telling you of such personal cases? No. Again. Of course not.

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          1. [How can you access and prove something that is beyond known and accessible dimensions? You can’t.]
            [ it can and is accessed telepathically or mediumnically.]

            It can’t be accessed!
            But it can be accessed!

            Yup, you *definitely* know what you’re talking about. I won’t be responding to you further.

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      4. [The Million Dollar Challenge is repeatedly cited by ‘Skeptics’ as evidence that psychic phenomenon don’t exist at all – that’s where her criticism is coming from.]

        There’s this thing called ‘the preponderance of evidence’: there is a *huge* number of people who claim to have psychic powers. There’s one within a 10min walk of my home, and several more within a 10min bus ride. All of these people claim to have the ability to see the future, and/or speak to the dead, and they charge fees for this.

        I have knowledge of philosophy. I have the ability to assemble a computer. When asked to demonstrate these skills, I can do so. If someone put forth a competition of a million dollars to anyone who could explain the theories of Mill or Aristotle, they would be *inundated* with people professing to have that skill, and happily volunteering regardless of how strict the test criteria are.

        Likewise for plumbers.
        Likewise for electricians.
        Likewise for nuclear physicists.
        Likewise for brain surgeons.

        And yet, there is a paucity of self-identified psychics coming forward to have their abilities tested under rigorous controls. If these people are honest and have the powers they profess, this is a mystery. If they don’t have the powers they profess, and yet believe that they do: this is a mystery. The only reasonable conclusion to draw here is that they don’t have the powers, nor do they honestly believe that they do.

        Given the vast, *vast* numbers of self-proclaimed psychics in the world, the only conclusion to draw from this is that psychic powers do not exist.

        Now, one could complain that the challenge is “too hard”, but there are no restrictions that could be placed on a test for me to prove that I can play the piano that I would shun a million dollar challenge.

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      5. Brian – I agree that I would like to see more psychics, mediums etc put themselves forward for testing. My feeling is that some are fakes, some overestimate their abilities, and some don’t know about these kinds of tests or just aren’t interested.

        However many have out themselves forward for testing, and have achieved significant results where all forms of cheating are ruled out. You can find some of these papers here:

        http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

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      6. [However many have out themselves forward for testing, and have achieved significant results where all forms of cheating are ruled out. You can find some of these papers here:]

        I checked your link, and looked over a few of the papers there. They seem to be predominantly meta-analyses, i.e. a reshuffling of numbers to try to find signal within the noise, with a continued fixation on tiny, tiny P-Values.

        However, I’m not sure what pupil dilation testing has to do with people who claim to speak to the dead, or can see the future in relative detail. Perhaps you could elaborate on the connection?

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      7. Brian – I suggest you check out the ‘survival of consciousness’ section in the link, there’s a couple of papers there. I can get you another link as well if you like?

        Cheers!

        Robbie

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  15. I notice the Skeptics here are focusing on the worse evidence for psi and attacking that, and either willingly or unwillingly ignoring the much more rigorous research. Nobody on the proponent side, including Sheldrake, would put telephone telepathy anywhere near the top.

    Look into the Ganzfeld studies, the presentiment studies, remote viewing studies, and micro PK studies, then get back to us. To respond to you Brian, these studies have been published in peer reviewed journals. I would also say that the disdain in your comment is evidence of the taboo – you’ve either purposefully omitted the best research – or you haven’t been made aware of it.

    It’s early days but Julie Beischel’s recent mediumship studies, and the 2011 Kelly et al study, are pretty good.

    In terms of the challenge, to quote it as evidence of anything either way shows a misunderstanding of Science. Even if somebody won it it would prove nothing, it would be one test, the hallmark of Science is replicability.

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    1. If you would actually read the post you’re responding to, you’ll find that Jenn is the one who brought up Sheldrake.

      If we’re in agreement that Sheldrake’s work is terrible: fantastic. Perhaps you should chide Jenn for bringing it up, rather than me for responding to her article?

      “the hallmark of Science is replicability”

      Ironically, I agree with you. The JREF challenge has never been anything other than that: a challenge bearing an extremely low bar. As there are many philosophically uninformed skeptics out there, I don’t doubt that they have claimed that the challenge is Science (with a capitol ‘s’). They’re wrong, but the testing is rigorous, and usually focused on blinding as much as possible. The objections in the post are little more than ‘how dare you require us to be careful and methodical in our blather!’.

      I’ve reviewed several studies in the past, at the behest of True Believers, and they’ll turned out to be methodologically flawed. If there’s a study or two that you consider top of the pile, I’d be more than happy to take a look. (please don’t point the Ganzfield crap in my direction, which has long been shown to be of exceedingly poor quality, nevermind almost always failing replication, a criterion we both consider important for something to be considered Science).

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      1. Thanks for your reply Brian!

        I know she is, but you’re chiding it like it’s the best that’s on offer, it isn’t – I’ve offered you four other classes of experiments to look further into.

        I don’t think you can claim the JREF test isn’t scientific, then claim it’s rigorous, and that the Ganzfeld is ‘crap’. The JREF challenge is a PR stunt and nothing more – so let’s bit waste our time discussing is further.

        I don’t know where you get the idea from that the Ganzfeld studies of a poor quality, can you elaborate please? Early studies may have had flaws that could have been corrected (that doesn’t automaticslly invalidate them though) but the newer ones, such as the auto ganzfeld, are of a much higher quality and the effect didn’t go away. There have been numerous replications, one even by two skeptics in 2005, which found a significant hit rate of 32%. It’s untrue to claim it hasn’t been replicated – can I ask where you read that?

        I think we should also recognise that informed skeptics are backing down on their criticisms as the standard of certain parapsychology experiments are very high, and the effect hasn’t gone away. Even Richard Wiseman has said that by the normal stands of Science that psi is proven.

        If you want to read some more studies I’d start here:

        http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

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  16. Is this… some kind of joke?

    I looked up the Sheldrake trial where he allegedly shows telepathy at rates higher than chance: http://www.sheldrake.org/research/telepathy/experimental-tests-for-telephone-telepathy

    Basically: a randomly chosen person (of 4 possibilities) called the participant, and the participant had to guess who was calling. How do we know if they were correct? Well, the methodology is super-clear on this point:

    [A few minutes after the tests, the experimenter rang the participant to ask what his or her guess had been, and in some cases also asked the callers. In no cases did callers and participants disagree. The experimenter recorded the result, noting down the date and times of each trial, the caller and the guess.]

    Yup. They called the participants and asked “hey, did you get it right?”

    Self-reports of psychic ability for the epic fail…

    Seriously, if this is the standard for the “scientific trials” of psychic ability, the problem isn’t the evil JREF, it’s shitty, *shitty* methodology.

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    1. Hi Brain, Dr. Sheldrake does address the issue of cheating further down in the description of the study. To correct against this possibility, he also did a large series of videotaped trials and compared the results to the statistical results of the earlier tests. Here’s what it says:

      “What about deliberate cheating? Perhaps participants and their callers simply lied about the guesses, falsely reporting incorrect guesses as correct. Or perhaps after potential callers had been informed that they had been picked, they rang or e-mailed the participant to pass on this information. Even if callers who knew they had not been selected told this to the participant, the choice would have been narrowed, and hence the chance of successful guessing increased.

      The cheating hypothesis is implausible for three main reasons. First, it is very improbable that a large majority of the participants would have cheated. It is perhaps conceivable that a few might have done so, but a few cheats could not have produced the pattern of results we observed in which most participants scored above chance levels.

      Second, we know that we ourselves did not cheat, and that the unfamiliar callers involved in series 2 did not cheat. If some of the familiar callers had cheated by informing participants that they had not been selected, the chance of guessing an unfamiliar caller would have been increased. Yet the scores with unfamiliar callers were not above chance levels (Table 4).

      Third, as we describe in a separate paper (Sheldrake & Smart, 2003), we carried out further series of experiments in which the participants were filmed continuously on time-coded videotape, starting 15 minutes before each trial. We selected the caller at random only after the filming had started. Hence if the participant had received any other telephone calls or e-mails before the test call, this would have been observed. The videotapes were evaluated blind by an independent observer, and any trials in which the participant received an unrelated call or was off camera, however briefly, were disqualified. Also, the participants spoke their guess to the camera before picking up the telephone, and hence could not lie about the results. The data from these videotaped trials gave extremely significant positive results. The overall success rate was 133 correct guesses out of 292 trials (46%; p = 1 x 10-12). The 95% confidence limits of this success rate were from 39% to 51%.”

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      1. “The cheating hypothesis is implausible for three main reasons.”

        Pfft.

        To paraphrase:

        ‘The cheating hypothesis goes against my biases for three main reasons.’

        It’s irrelevant how unlikely Sheldrake thinks it is: without data to rule it out, the experiment is insufficiently controlled, because the methodology is bad. The whole first objection is babble.

        [Second, we know that we ourselves did not cheat, and that the unfamiliar callers involved in series 2 did not cheat. If some of the familiar callers had cheated by informing participants that they had not been selected, the chance of guessing an unfamiliar caller would have been increased. Yet the scores with unfamiliar callers were not above chance levels (Table 4).]

        *sigh*

        There are two possibilities with regards the participant cheating:

        1) Their friends notifying them in some way when they *were* chosen to make the call (thus boosting the friend-guess rate).
        2) Their friends notifying them in some way when they were *not* chosen to make the call (thus boosting the stranger-guess rate).

        The lack of the second form of cheating tells us absolutely nothing about the former kind of cheating. Moreover, given that the timeframe of the call was randomised, the second kind of cheating would be much more onerous to pull off than the first.

        Sheldrake’s second objection here seems to imply that he doesn’t understand this.

        I’ll take a look at the 2003 paper.

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      2. On the topic of “Videotaped Experiments on Telephone Telepathy” (http://www.sheldrake.org/research/telepathy/videotaped-experiments-on-telephone-telepathy)

        Ok, first off, it’s statements like “The average success rate was 40%, hugely significant statistically (by the binomial test, p = 4 x 10-16)” that really wave a big red flag about these tests. Any real scientist is aware that P-Values tell you virtually nothing of use, such that several journals are actually asking for P-Values to be excluded from submissions.

        *Methodology* matters significantly more. Moreover, something being statistically significant (i.e. highly unlikely to occur by chance) tells us nothing at all about how important it is, or whether or not it’s clinically significant.

        37 subjects is an extremely small sample size. And, to be quite frank, this is highly misleading: there were only 4 participants in this trial, only 4 people making guesses. Meaning that if even 1 person had found a way to cheat, the numbers would be easily skewed. 4 people does not a study make.

        I find it ironic that Method 1 and Method 2 are such a complete wash, yet they were kept in: there’s a full hour window for the caller to notify the participant, but this is just dismissed as a possibility.

        And the fourth series, the only one with something approaching proper controls? Only 1 participant.

        There’s a reason this stuff isn’t geting published in proper scientific journals, and that reason isn’t because ‘psychic research is forbidden’: it’s because this research is garbage.

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  17. Its simple. Either all mediums and psychics are fake OR their impact (however wet you may get when you imagine these things to be real) are negligible in real world application. EVERYTHING in history that has had a profound impact on the way mankind lives has been exploited and absorbed into mainstream culture over long periods of time, this hasn’t happened and presumably mediums have been around since the dawn of man yet we see no such absorption bringing us back to the first line of this text. My final point being that our species is old, a lot older than we can readily fathom and this is a presumably ancient trait (assuming mediums are real naturally) and we don’t see its everyday use today. So ASSUMING it exists it wont get used now, it wont get sued tomorrow, and many decades after that, try expending your energy on other fringe sciences like Cold fusion (go read the evidence those folks have) where their application might readily impact the lives of millions of peoples alive today, assuming you want to explore fringe sciences at all of course.

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    1. You are mistaken, Brandon. Mediumship has been manifesting more and more in current, time, when the influence and persecution of the Church is not as stong as it once was. Jesus, btw, was the greates “medium” of all.

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  18. Hi Derek, thanks for your comment. I think first we need to establish the difference between psychics and mediums. I honestly have a pretty dim view of ‘psychics’ because of my belief that the future isn’t written yet. If one believes in free will then psychics can only really see a ‘probable reality’ that may or may not come true, therefore most psychic predictions don’t come true. Mediums specialize in speaking with deceased spirits (they don’t tell the future), and there have been mediums who have connected with otherworld spirits and scientists. For example, off the top of my head I can come up with the cross-correspondences and the scole group. I would recommend the book 21 Days into the Afterlife by Dr. Parisetti which is chock full of evidence of this nature. So why don’t mediums try to prove to the world their abilities? Well, they do, but most are drowned out by the frauds in sparkly shoes. The best way mediums work is through one on one readings with sitters, and the best ones are busy proving themselves person by person through word of mouth rather than trying to get rich and famous or trying to convert skeptics. The evidence is out there, but unfortunately, one must dig for it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Psychics can define themselves widely, but usually they refer to people who can obtain information by means other than their five general senses. This can be in real time – as in psychics who aid in police investigations, or psychics who glean information that may happen in the future. Some mediums are psychic, and some psychics are mediums, but they are distinct abilities. Psychics who gain information in real time (for example, those who may be able to tell when a loved one is in trouble far away) might also refer to themselves as ‘intuitives’. There are also medical intuitives that can sense medical problems which is another branch of psychic abilities. I should clarify my earlier point – I take a dim view of the kind of psychics who make celebrity or world predictions or those that claim to fix curses and all of that nonesense. There are some psychics that can give someone a reading of their probable futures, but only if they relay the point that our futures can change moment by moment and what they ‘see’ is just one of many paths. It’s also very difficult to ‘vet’ a psychic in advance, though undoubtedly there are some good ones out there. I believe the number of psychic frauds outnumber legitimate psychics by a huge number, whereas its far more difficult to fake mediumship unless your sitter doesn’t know how to spot cold, warm or hot reading. I hope that suffices 🙂

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    1. Even more than that, Jenn. In my case I serve as an instrument, an intermediary (medium) between spiritual guides and incarnated people, with the purpose of helping, guiding and assisting them in the spiritual evolution which is the process we ALL undergo.

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    1. Why haven’t psychics left undeniable proof?
      My answer to that question is that you probably haven’t tried very hard. I don’t know you, but my guess is that you might be a victim of your own bias.

      This generally comes in the form of never questioning skeptical analyses and always questioning everyone else’s. Are you doing that? Are skeptics somehow more believable to you because they claim to be rational and objective? Do you challenge their rationality and objectivity? If professor XYZ says that there is no evidence for psi, do you stop there? Or do you keep looking?

      If you come across psi researcher Dean Radin and read that he is a crank and an idiot, do you believe that? Or do you challenge that statement by learning about the man from other sources?

      I’ve always challenged skeptical opinions because I found them to be too pat and lacking in in-depth explanations. In matters of psi, I’ve rarely found them to be credible after additional research. After a few years of this I stopped taking psi skepticism seriously altogether.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. There is more to the world than the JREF challange. Why aren’t genuine psychics out there proving themselves over and over again. The only psychics we hear about or see are the TV fakes like Sally Morgan and Derek Acorah etc. If psychics were doing their job they’d be talking to dead scientists about unfinished work, they’d be talking to murder victims about their murderer and provide unquestionable evidence. etc. So many people claim to be psychic yet all they can do is tell us about a ring hidden behind the sofa or what wiill happen to the next big celebrity. Where are the genuine psychics, if they truly existed they would turn the way the world thinks and acts on it’s head. Why hasn#

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    1. We do so on a personal basis, Derek. The thing is that no real and serious medium will expose oneself to the such. Anyone that does is to be suspected of. Again, keep in mind what it is that is being dealt with. The world is at is for a reason and for a purpose. Were it given for the whole world to know, and that would already have happened. It is not as YOU wish it to be, nor is it as YOU should determine.

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    1. From what I read, they are only keeping it open to celebrity psychics. The general public are no longer allowed to submit claims and they are converting it into a grant making foundation. The initial page here: http://web.randi.org/the-million-dollar-challenge.html says the challenge is terminated, but do see the fine print that says “Effective immediately, JREF will no longer accept applications directly from people claiming to have a paranormal power. Previously available Application Forms shall not be used and will be rejected without any review of the contents. We anticipate providing minimum required protocols for the preliminary test early next year. No one should make any effort to pursue the Challenge until those minimum required protocols are issued. The only exception is that any established psychic may contact JREF via email to be tested directly (preferably with an independent, third party TV crew.) Thanks for the heads up, I will update my post to include this information. 🙂

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      1. Right, this is the part I’m referring to:

        ‘We anticipate providing minimum required protocols for the preliminary test early next year. No one should make any effort to pursue the Challenge until those minimum required protocols are issued. ‘

        They’re reworking the claim requirements, but not actually ending the challenge.

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        1. I updated the post to include the wording from the site so the readers know that the challenge may be reinstated. For now, however, the JREF site itself says that the challenge is terminated. It may be reinstated after the protocols are reviewed, which I added to the first paragraph of the post. Thanks for the heads up – I don’t wish to be misleading in any way.

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  20. “The sole purpose of the JREF Million Dollar Challenge was to mock and humiliate applicants.” This, among MANY other points in this piece, is totally wrong. You can watch a recording of live challenges and see an entire auditorium of several hundred people be extremely respectful of the applicant. And this went on for a few years, the respectfulness was ALWAYS maintained. The claimants always failed. http://web.randi.org/swift/watch-the-million-dollar-challenge

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting! I appreciate it. I respect your opinion, however even if the foundation gave the appearance of being ‘nice’ to the applicant while they were being tested, it doesn’t mean their intention wasn’t still to mock and humiliate them. Some of the claimants were mentally ill, or had utterly ridiculous claims. By filtering out serious candidates and highlighting the ‘breatharians’ and the ‘corn god’ people, the mockery becomes self-evident. Their website openly mocked various claimants, though it’s been taken down (or else I can’t find it, I’ll keep looking through).

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Have you noticed how many de-bunkers are, or were, stage magicians or illusionists. Well, of course they are going to try to disprove genuine psychic events. They have a career to protect. Why should anyone pay money to see these people pretend to do something that others can do for real? No such thing as an unbiased observer. Sally

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    1. It has nothing to do with protecting one’s livelihood. A lot of de-bunkers are magicians and mind readers because they have similar skills to the psychic. They can spot a fraud at 100 yards as well you know Sally.

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